Connect with us
After receiving millions in federal dollars, Glorieta Gardens in Opa-locka is still in disrepair. Marco Rubio wants to know why.

Influence

Democrats file legislation to expand rights of renters

Legislators say the state’s lack of affordable housing motivated the move.

A pair of companion bills has been filed in the Florida Legislature with the goal of granting more rights to renters throughout the state.

“Our landlord-tenant laws have been out of balance for a long time, tipping the balance in favor of landlords,” said Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Miami-Dade Democrat who filed the Senate version of the bill (SB 1794).

“Especially at a time when affordable housing is at a crisis point in our state, we need to make sure tenants are protected as they spend more and more simply to keep a roof over their head.”

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, a Winter Park Democrat, introduced the House version of the bill (HB 1283).

Among the provisions in the legislation are requirements to give advanced notice of rent increases, a prohibition on discriminating against prospective tenants based on sexual orientation or gender identity and a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during a state of emergency.

“I have seen first hand the exploitation of Hurricane Maria evacuees by predatory landlords in our area: unjust evictions, stolen application fees and deposits, and zero housing security during times of crisis,” Smith said.

The legislators say the state’s lack of affordable housing motivated the move to help protect the ability of renters to find, and stay in, an apartment. The bills grant renters a “right of first refusal” to purchase a unit should a landlord decide to sell.

“Our working families cannot thrive without reliable and affordable housing; I’m proud to partner with Sen. Rodriguez on this groundbreaking vision for Florida’s renters,” Smith said.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.